This is a guest post by Colin Cuthbert, Director of Australian payroll and contractor management firm Ayers Management. He strongly believes in an employee-friendly ethos within the company, having also brought that ethos to his previous managerial roles, and he is a huge advocate of creating a unified team spirit within the workplace.
People in full-time employment, more often than not, spend the majority of their weekdays at work. Of course, this will vary depending on the nature of the job (i.e. restaurant waiters will usually work on different hours and days to public sector office staff), but this tends to be the case for those of us who work in 9-to-5 jobs.
In many cases, your job is simply a means of picking up a salary so that you can finance the things that are most important to you in life, but there’s no reason why you cannot be happy in your working environment. At least not in an ideal world.
We’d all like to work with agreeable, dedicated colleagues under a management that appreciates the significance of keeping staff happy and motivated. To some, this sounds highly fanciful, like a dream that is unattainable and doesn’t exist in the cold light of day. In truth, this is the way that a business should be run.
Employees are needed to carry out the nuts and bolts of business operations, so keeping them onside and incentivized to give their best is in the company’s best interests. The mantra of ‘treat people as you would like to be treated’ rings true when it comes to workplace morale – respect staff and they’ll repay you with greater effort; treat them with scorn and you risk sparking a rebellion.
The key to ensuring a happy workplace is to recognize the factors that would create this positive environment.
Managers can often make the mistake of thinking that workers will be ecstatic simply because their wages have increased. It certainly helps, but there’s a lot more to positive workplace morale than throwing money at employees. In many cases, what they crave more than anything else is recognition of their efforts through positive appraisal.
If an employee is made to feel that their efforts are indispensable in ensuring business success, they will receive a huge psychological lift and realize that their work is enormously appreciated. In other words, their endeavours are justified.
Compare that with a workplace where dissatisfaction and autocracy is rife. Employees feel like mere minions who are seen as nothing more than robotic cogs in a wheel, and even when they give their all, they receive more criticism over imperfections than praise for doing a good job.
This can totally shatter a worker’s self-confidence and make them question why they invest so much effort into fulfilling an ungrateful employer’s ambitions. In turn, they are likely to flee to another workplace at the first opportunity, leaving their former employer no choice but to plunge resources into hiring and training new staff.
If you think that employee morale is a meaningless business buzzword, think again. One turn frequently does another, so make sure to find out what keeps your staff happy and deliver accordingly. They will feed off that appreciation and respond by going above the call of duty to help your business succeed. After all, it is no coincidence that some of the most profitable companies in the world also boast the highest levels of workplace morale. The link between the two is indelible.
Ayers Management in Australia created this infographic about the correlation between positive workplace morale and positive business outcomes.